Status of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Activities as of December 31, 1984

RCED-85-58: Published: Jan 22, 1985. Publicly Released: Jan 22, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO presented its quarterly report on the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and in complying with the requirements of applicable law.

GAO noted that the Secretary of Energy announced that DOE is considering a proposal to stop filling the SPR at the end of fiscal year 1985, when the SPR will contain about 489 million barrels of oil. During the first quarter of fiscal year 1985, DOE added 19.4 million barrels of oil to the SPR, bringing the total amount of oil in the SPR to 450.5 million barrels. The oil fill rate averaged 211 thousand barrels per day during the quarter. DOE paid $428 million for oil acquisition and transportation, had unpaid obligations of about $1,196 million, and had about $983 million in unobligated funds available for additional oil purchases. GAO found that the storage capacity development program had proceeded without any major problems, generally achieving DOE goals. DOE has submitted a proposal to Congress to reprogram about $50 million for SPR distribution system improvements. Additionally, the National Petroleum Council approved a committee report which made nine recommendations to improve SPR oil distribution and use during an oil supply disruption. Finally, DOE submitted its final report to the Office of Personnel Management on the grade structure at a project management office in which it downgraded nearly half of the reviewed positions.

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